Saturday, June 10, 2006

Vacation time-- and a live-wire topic to chew on

I'll be gone for just a bit over a week. My girls are competing in a pageant in Nevada, after which I plan to take them hiking in Yosemite, and maybe fit in a trip to Knott's Berry farm before heading back.

Before leaving, though, I want to address an issue that seems to have come up this week.

It has been the plan of the right to criticize those of us on the left as 'unpatriotic' ever since the early days of the Cold War (after all, I think they reasoned that because communism was an ideology which originally had its roots on the left of the political spectrum, therefore liberals must harbor some sort of secret sympathy for Josef Stalin or something ridiculous like that). Through decades of red baiting the right learned how to win elections with these sorts of things (taught by none other than the master red baiter of them all, Richard Nixon, who got elected to congress by accusing Congressman Jerry Voorhees of being a closet communist.) An example of what they preached went like this: if you wanted the US out of Vietnam, it might have been simply because you couldn't see any rational reason to continue to lose troops fighting an endless war, but the right could (and did) claim that you must actually have some sort of secret line to Hanoi or Moscow and were really working not for peace for America, but for victory for the reds. Later on, Newt Gingrich and a couple of his friends helped set the tone for their attacks against Congress by standing in the well and making speeches that were televised by cable all over the country, actually asking where 'anyone of the Democrat side of he aisle' would stand to dispute their contention that they were all anti-American and wanted to change America into a communist country by doing everything they could to help the Soviet Union defeat America in battle. Of course the house chamber was empty during these speeches, but their audience wasn't other congressmen, it was rubes listening all over the land, and it was great dramatic theatre. And that fit their black and white view of the world perfectly: either you were for every warlike move that America made, or you were actively working for the communists.

One wonders whether some on the right actually miss the days of the Cold War and how easy it was to crucify Liberals as 'anti-American.'

But not to fear, they have a new tool to attack the left as unpatriotic and anti-American. It was on full display this week after Zarqawi was nailed by an American surgical strike. For example, on Fox News' the Big Story, host John Gibson and guest Ed Rollins

suggested that attendees at the "big convention" for the "far-left-wing Daily Kos" weblog were "demoralized" by the death of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi....

On the June 8 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson suggested that attendees at the "big convention" for the "far-left-wing Daily Kos" weblog -- at which he noted Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and John Kerry (D-MA) were scheduled to speak -- were "demoralized" by the death of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Republican strategist Ed Rollins agreed, adding: "Well, they'll claim it's a conspiracy theory. That we knew their meeting was going on and that's why we did it [killed Zarqawi now]." Gibson replied: "Well, they are claiming that. They are claiming at this moment that they were saving Zarqawi to kill at an important moment."

As Media Matters For America has noted, MSNBC host Don Imus and CNN political analyst Bill Bennett have also suggested that liberals were saddened by Zarqawi's death.
And we hear that sort of thing from people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage on a daily basis, pretty much interrupted only by commercial breaks.

Uh, go ahead and read the comments that day on the front page of Kos. An example of one (requoted in the quotes after the Media Matters article) reads like this:

"CHEERS to finding a really evil needle in a really big haystack. U.S. forces rocked terrorist Abu Musab "Dick" al-Zarqawi's world last night when they tossed a thousand pounds of explosive whupass down his gullet. They found his body in the bedroom. And the kitchen. And the den. And the garage. And the neighbor's apartment. And I think I found an eyebrow in my Cocoa Puffs this morning. My only regret: he didn't know what hit him." - Bill in Portland Maine, front page of DailyKos (this was written before we learned that he actually did have a few moments of life left, during which he did learn what hit him.)

As I wrote in my own post about Zarqawi:

And it is a good thing that he is dead. Zarqawi was a murdering monster who won't be mourned by anyone except for a handful of fanatics.

And I don't feel any differently about it today. And it isn't even logical that anyone on the left could feel any sympathy for a guy like Zarqawi even if he wasn't a murderer-- if he or those who think like him ever did succeed, they would create a feudal society where men are absolutely in control and girls have to drop out of school before junior high school so they can get married, where people are forced to pray several times per day and even the smallest moral transgression is punishable by such things as public flogging, amputation, or being stoned to death. Why would any of us Liberals feel sympathy for a guy who wants to create that kind of a society?

What this shows is that regardless of what those of us on the left may feel, the right has decided that they can pull out the old Cold War red baiting gimmick, paint it green (the color of Islam) and go about their old tricks. The truth doesn't matter.

Heck, they may even find some malcontent somewhere on the left who actually does miss Zarqawi. And if they do, expect them to display him or her in front of a fifty-thousand watt searchlight as an example of a 'typical' liberal. Of course if they do find one, he or she won't be any more typical than that church that protests against gay people at soldiers' funerals is typical of conservatives. My only response to that would be to reread my comment from above:

And it is a good thing that he is dead. Zarqawi was a murdering monster who won't be mourned by anyone except for a handful of fanatics.

Nowhere did I say that all the fanatics would be radical Islamicists. But don't presume to assume if you find one that that is what Liberals think, because it isn't true.

cross-posted at Night Bird's Fountain


Beth said...


I fixed it but it is weird, I had to use html to get the breaks.

Good article. And have fun with those girls in your life. They are the stars.

Karen said...

Eli~ Have a great vacation!

EAPrez said...

Hope you have ooooodles of fun and get some rest in as well. Oh....and remember the advice you passed on about too much sun, too much food etc.......:) Be safe.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your trip, Eli.

That discussion's pretty slimy even for Fox, imo.

Chuck said...

Have fun & BE SAFE!!!

I had posted a long comment a couple of days ago on one of your entries & hit publish. Blogger lost it- down for maintenance. I didn't copy & couldn't do another half hour. Live & learn. Keep living. Keep learning. :)

Lily said...

Blogger has been down alot lately- taught me a lesson about my long winded responses. I tend not to do those anymore, really.

Enjoy your trip, Eli!

One would think the "accuse the left of being commies" thing would be old and dry by now. But its not, I think an element is to stri up fear about a subversive element that aims to jeopardize your American lifestyle.

Even with the immigration debates, 'soft on terror" accusations, even Gingrich who made it his mission to pit society against the "lazy, shiftless" poor... it seems about imposing a "threat"mentality.

OK I am rambling again. I lied. I did't learn my lesson!!!

I'll stop now...

Chuck said...

HA!HA! You're thinking ahead of me Lily. But I'll bet you copied first! :)

Anonymous said...

Eli,The weird thing about these so-called neocons is that they're the ones who are just like the Communists - they have a rigid ideological concept of economics and they stick to it through thick and thin no matter how much damage it's doing! That's exactly what caused the Soviet Union to implode!